zen

Meditation brings back all sorts of memories

One thing about meditation, it brings back some memories that are buried in the depths of your brain/mind. For example, when I was 17 or 18 years old I remember my father and “the woman he got pregnant while he was married to me my mother” having a conversation where they referred to themselves as “survivors.” I further remember thinking, “If throwing your wife and children overboard to save yourself makes you a survivor, sure, you’re a survivor.”

Do you hear the murmuring sound of the mountain stream?

A monk was anxious to learn Zen and said, “I have been newly initiated into the Brotherhood. Will you be gracious enough to show me the Way?”

The Master said, “Do you hear the murmuring sound of the mountain stream?”

The monk said, “Yes, I do.”

The Master said, “Here is the entrance.”

~~~

“Listening intently” is a simple, fun meditation practice. Just sit, relax, and listen to your environment like a dog, cat — or a squirrel in the wild, where your life depends on your listening. At work I used to have fun by listening to as many conversations as I could simultaneously.

Quotes about work and Zen (practicing Zen at work)

For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I have read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seems like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. Over time I came to understand phrases like, “When working, just work.”

This article contains a collection of quotes that have been helpful to me in understanding the relationship between Zen and work. Please note that I don’t wrap each quote in double quotes, and I also try to attribute each quote to the correct author/speaker. If you’re interested in how to combine Zen and work, I hope you’ll find them helpful.

To complain is your nonacceptance of what is

“To complain is (your) nonacceptance of what is. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in power. So change the situation by taking action or speaking out. Leave the situation or accept it; all else is madness.

If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options:

  • Remove yourself from the situation
  • Change it
  • Accept it totally

If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now (slightly edited by me)

“Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing”

“Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing.”

I keep running into various versions of this quote (from sources like the Tao, Ram Dass, and Zen books), so I thought I’d share it here. All sayings like this mean that if you become like a clear mirror and view the world exactly as it is — not how your desires (and fears) want it to be — you’ll see the truth.

Enlightenment is like a free fall

“Enlightenment is like a free fall. It’s like falling off a cliff that never ends, and you’ve acclimatized to it.”

~ Shinzen Young, in this video